A dog who was left in a county shelter was so scared and confused about losing her home that she didn't want to leave a corner. She kept looking everywhere in case the people she loved came back for her, but it didn't happen. And the German shepherd mix was getting lonely and stressed, not to mention feeling cold as time went by.
It took that one special person to meet her to form a unique bond that helped her feel better and come out of sadness.
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As soon as Shira Scott Astrof, who is the founder of The Animal Rescue Mission located in Los Angeles, California, saw Chloe, she was immediately touched.
"She was the most scared dog I'd ever seen up to then. She was left at the shelter in September last year, and the workers believe her owners pretended to have found her on the street and just abandoned her over there," Shira shared with The Epoch Times.
Chloe had had puppies at the time, and she only wanted to hide from everyone and everything. Shira tried to convince Chloe to come out of her corner, but she was too scared to get a health check. Unfortunately, the shelter couldn't release the dog until she was properly assessed, so that's how a long and sad wait began.
"It was unfair. The longer she was stuck in a scary and cold shelter, the more shut down and scared she would become," Shira said.
Shira, who set up her rescue four years ago, feels that county shelters are not a good place for a dog to end up in because she's noticed they get stressed over there. And the longer they stay in such a place, the sadder they get. Shira also pointed out that the dogs left at a shelter only get a 50% chance of making it out.
However, Shira wasn't about to give up on Chloe. She waited a few more days, and then she managed to get the dog out of the shelter. The dog had got even sadder since the last time she'd seen her, and meeting Chloe again brought Shira close to tears.
"She sat in the corner, her head facing the wall, shaking. It was obvious that she had just had babies and was confused and heartbroken being left in a strange and loud place," Shira recalls.
Shira's arrival changed things and meant the beginning of a new chapter in Chloe's life. She took the formerly neglected and mistreated dog out of the county shelter and set to work on finding her forever home.
She remembered she had met Darvish, a 25-year-old software engineer who lived in Los Angeles and was also looking to foster a dog. Remembering how it felt to talk to him, she instantly knew Chloe would be happy with Darvish, so she contacted him.
"When I spoke to Darvish over the phone for the first time, I knew he was an incredible human and would help me save a dog. And when I saw Chloe at that shelter, I realized he should be the one to help her," Shira said.
Darvish was already working from home full-time, so he had plenty of time to connect to a dog. So, he made up his mind to foster a dog once he switched to work from home permanently.
He still remembers when he met the dog for the first time and how she wouldn't let anyone get close enough.
"I felt sorry for her; she didn't act like any other dog I'd ever seen before; she was scared of people and didn't want to leave her cage at all," Darvish said.
Convincing Chloe to get into his car was no easy feat, so Shira helped him out and stayed with Chloe in the back, comforting and keeping her calm with plenty of cuddles and treats.
"She was terrified at first, but by the end of the hour-long car ride, she had her head on my lap and then let me snuggle her. I even got a kiss," Shira recalls.
Once the three of them got to Darvish's home, they needed 30 minutes to persuade Chloe to get out of the car once more. When she finally got inside the house, she was very scared and felt lost.
"She curled up in one corner of my room and didn't move from there for three whole days. She refused to eat or drink anything during this time," Darvish shared.
The man sat close to her and tried to give her treats while giving her time to settle in. Eventually, Chloe got comfortable and started eating the treats out of his hand, and then she followed him around different rooms. And one day, she decided it was ok to go with him to the front yard, and they had a full meal over there.
"Each day, Darvish won her trust more. One day, I went to see her, and she was mesmerized by him. Chloe followed him everywhere and loved him so much. Their bond was like nothing I'd ever seen; heartwarming and special," Shira said.
That was when Darvish told Shira he wouldn't ever let Chloe go and wanted to be her owner. Shira was in tears on hearing it, knowing how they had bonded and seeing their friendship grow.
"I am just so happy for this sweet girl. She's been through so much and deserved this happy ending," she added.
Chloe is enjoying her second chance at a happy home.
"She's very attached and follows me everywhere. She seems much more relaxed now—she's not constantly on edge looking for threats and acts like a normal dog; she lounges around the house, pestering people for food and attention!" Darvish said.
Chloe and her owner made many happy memories already, including the first time they played fetch and when she was friendly to one of his family members.
"I didn't think she would ever have a normal life given how scared she was when I got her. But her progress has been amazing; this gives me hope that you can always give rescue dogs a good life with patience and love (and lots of treats)," Darvish concluded about the wonderful bond that keeps on connecting love and kindness in a friendship that's set to last a long time.